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Why your loved one needs a coach (and so do you)

  • Jul 16, 2012
  • Meaghan Puglisi
  • 3-min Read

You may have thought that your days of being coached ended back in high school, but a growing body of research is demonstrating that seniors and their families should be looking for solutions with coaching at their core.

An article in the Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronicle about a pilot program by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency found that ‘A group of patients who had at least one home visit from a specially trained coach after leaving the hospital were about 25 percent less likely to use any hospital services within 30 days than a group that didn’t.’

Why is that important? Because the roller coaster of crises that far too many people experience today is often a cycle of re-hospitalizations that robs people of their independence, control and well-being (not to mention the financial coasts). In fact, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries are re-hospitalized within 30 days, and 1 in 3 within 90 days.

That means the roller coaster cycle of crises affects 20-33% of all seniors within 3 months of a hospital stay! And breaking that cycle is essential to your loved one’s on-going good health and ability to live a sparked life.

So if you are family caregiver helping a loved one seek some support, consider the vital role of coaching in any services you consider. What do you get with a coach? You get:

  • Guidance and support, especially in traversing new territory, for you and your loved one (get step-by-step assistance that helps take the worry out of what you face)
  •  Proactive assistance anticipating and addressing common issues (i.e., the coach has done this before and can help you know what to expect so you plan for it)
  •  Hands-on help with new skills and needs such as medication management or coordination of care
  • Knowledge and information (imagine someone to call with questions, who can help you navigate and enable you to better understand your loved one’s options)
  • Assistance moving forward from the present situation – your loved one wants to improve his or her health and independence, and a coach can help discover what is most important in their lives, and create a pathway to reach those goals
  • At Lifesprk, a coach who will also work to spark your loved one’s life, so they are living on their terms, in control and empowered (and that can spark your life too)

These core elements of coaching are only going to become more critical as we seek to change the experience for people in the second half of life. To eliminate the roller coaster of re-hospitalizations, ensure that coaching is part of you solution. So while you may think that services that don’t include a coaching component are cheaper and more cost-effective, the NEJM studies shows that those services have done very little over the years to break the roller coaster of crises. And that costs you more in the long run.

So make coaching a must-have in any services you seek for your loved one.

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